Cash in your closet: making extra money in 2016

(Image: Shutterstock)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For Farnosh Kamali, the new year means a new wardrobe. Kamali is down fifty pounds and is cleaning out her closet, getting rid of everything that no longer fits.

“I don’t want to throw anything out, especially when it’s in good use. Why not? So, sell it back and get some money for it,” said Kamali.

Kamali found Clothes Mentor, an upscale second-hand store that pays cash for gently used clothing and accessories. She says cleaning out her closets was a challenge, but worth it in the end.

“It took about two days to go through them and really sit down and see what’s in good condition, what’s not, what I’m ready to let go of,” said Kamali.

In one trip to Clothes Mentor, Kamali walks away with $247 after selling some of her unwanted handbags.

“Typically our customer is about 25 to 55. Single moms, professionals, nurses, teachers, grandmothers, all walks of life,” said Wendy Upton, owner of Clothes Mentor in South Windsor.

Stores like Clothes Mentor and competitor Plato’s Closet have put a new spin on the traditional consignment shop. When a customer walks in with their items, they get paid that day, not when they sell.

“Typically we see people come in with a laundry bag full of things, maybe 15 to 20 tops, pairs of pants, maybe a designer handbag or two. And, they go home with usually at least a hundred dollars,” said Upton.

Looking for another way to make some fast money with stuff in your closet? Try eBay. Carol Cuomo has been selling on the site for twelve years and has been so successful it’s now a part-time business.

“This time of year I’ll have about a hundred items listed and those are all in the buy it now. So, if someone is wanted to click right now, my telephone would do the applications with the kaching noise and I would know that something sold,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo sells unwanted toys and things her family has outgrown, as well as stuff they buy in bulk on clearance. It’s become a family affair, and the money they make is considered extra for some family fun time.

“We can afford the Disney World tickets because of all the extra money we’ve earned on eBay with the items we no longer want either around the house or that we find in the store for a fraction of the cost,” said Cuomo.

Forbes Magazine compiled a list of the top five apps out there for earning some extra cash. That list can be found here.

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